Google Docs & Spreadsheets
Word processing and spreadsheets have joined the digital revolution with the application
called Google Docs & Spreadsheets. This free and straightforward program extends the
capability of the existing word processor and spreadsheet editors found on typical
computers. Google Docs & Spreadsheets functions in the online environment allowing users
to create, share, securely store and publish their documents.
With Google Docs & Spreadsheets, documents can be created from scratch in traditional
word processing and spreadsheet programs that currently exist on the userâ™s computer.
Documents can also be created using Google Docs & Spreadsheets' easy-to-use interface
with familiar features such as: bold, underline, indent, bulleted lists, sorting columns, tables,
and images, etc. Documents created on userâ™s computer can be uploaded to Google
Docs & Spreadsheets. The technology accommodates various file formats including: DOC,
XLS, CSV, DDS and ODT.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets allows users to display their documents in a secure web page
environment that can be accessed anywhere through a web browser. The application works
in real-time allowing users to communicate by writing, editing and sharing instantly. Through
the use of email and passwords, the program allows users to determine who can access
documents and share in these real-time online exchanges.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets has extended its reach into the world of education. Teachers
and students around the world have reaped benefits as the program lends itself to the
classroom curriculum and beyond. Teachers like Esther Wojcicki (Journalism Teacher, Palo
Alto High School) sings the programs praises and exemplifies a best practice of how Google
Docs & Spreadsheets can be applied to the curriculum. âœI sign all my students up for
Google Docs & Spreadsheets accounts to help facilitate their work. I have found that my
students are making significant improvement in their writing because of Google Docs &
Spreadsheets.â Wojcicki uses the application to facilitate her studentsâ™ peer editing
Perhaps the most impressive and extensive use of Google Docs & Spreadsheets in the
educational arena came in the form of the Google Global Warming Project. In 2006, Google
challenged students around the world to find solutions to global warming. Students
attending schools in 80 countries around the world participated in the challenge including:
the United States, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Romania, South Africa and Ghana.
Students worldwide began participating in the Google Global Warming Project on October
17, 2006. The project ended on November 6, 2006. The project resulted in the 50 top ideas
for global warming including studentsâ™ suggestions that the world recycle and plant
more trees to reduce carbon dioxide in the earthâ™s atmosphere.
The success of the Google Global Warming Project can be partly credited to Global School
Net, founded in 1984 and is comprised of educators and learners from a 194 countries
around the world. The organization attempts to educate students from a global perspective
as the work to collectively resolve environmental, cultural and scientific issues. The Global
SchoolNet was instrumental in the Google Global Warming Project in their attempt to
engage students in collaborative problem solving on this colossal issue. With Google Docs
& Spreadsheets, students and educators were able to create, store, share and publish
content throughout the life of the project.
The links below offer tutorials, information on free downloads, and examples of best
teaching practices with Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
1. Become familiar with the various aspects of Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
2. Create a document or spreadsheet intended for classroom use in the Google Docs &
3. As an alternative, use a preexisting document intended for classroom use that has
been created in a wordprocessing or spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Word
4. Upload the existing document to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
5. Allow your students online access to your document.
6. Create a related activity in which students must upload a response or an assignment
to Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
Google Docs and Spreadsheets Tour:
Google Docs and Spreadsheets General Information:
Best Practices of Google Docs and Spreadsheets:
Google Global Warming Project:
Top 50 ideas for Global Warming: 80 Participating Schools:
Schools that Worldwide Participated in the Global Warming Student Speak Out:
Educators who participated in online project â“ lent their expertise:
Global School Net: